With an aim to help lactating mothers who are travelling, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday inaugurated, through video conferencing, 352 rooms in bus terminals across the state where women can feed their newborns.
Timing the launch to sync with World Breast Feeding Week (August 1-7), she also inaugurated Mother’s Milk Banks in seven government hospitals, including Tiruchirappalli and Madurai.
“The Chief Minister has advised that a small table and bench should be placed in rooms for lactating mothers,” an official release said.
The Mothers’ Milk Banks were inaugurated in seven state-run hospitals in Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Coimbatore, Theni, Salem and Thanjavur, besides the over 160-year old Government Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Hospital at Egmore.
Each bank has been provided with equipment worth Rs. 10 lakh to preserve the milk donated by mothers. Such milk can be stored for three months and will be given to babies who cannot get milk from their mothers.
“Through this initiative the health of babies will be safeguarded and avoid child mortality,” the release said.
The number of such state-run banks in Tamil Nadu now stands at eight. Last year, Mother’s Milk Bank was launched in the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, known as Children’s Hospital in short.
Travelling mothers sometimes have to wait in bus terminals where they could face difficulties in feeding babies. These facilities were set up to address the problems of such lactating mothers, it said.
Last month, Ms. Jayalalithaa had announced setting up of exclusive rooms for mothers, considering the difficulties faced by them while commuting for work or for other travel purposes.
‘Breastfeeding and Work-Let’s Make it Work’ is this year’s theme for the seven-day breastfeeding week. The week highlights the difficulties faced by working women in lactating their babies, and also aims to remove such obstacles by prioritising feeding newborns, the release added.